10 December, 2018

Grave of the Fireflies Movie Review (1988)



When I was younger, I was never interested in Anime and this is the reason why I'm watching this late. I first heard of the Grave of the Fireflies when my sister mentioned it. She would always say how she wanted to see this movie. I ended up watching it without her.

The animated movie is based on the conflict between the United States and Japan, that time and history when both nations were at war. It gave an insight of the lives affected by the Hiroshima bombing and the ongoing war, which was a bit sad to see the extent of the damage the U.S. inflicted on the Japanese people. I've been recently interested in learning about the Japanese side to World War II, especially Pearl Harbor. Not much of this is talked about in America, and that's why I must go into foreign sources in order to learn this. America tends to censor this part of history. Honestly, I don't know what would justify the United States using such a weapon upon the people of Japan. This movie gave insight of how the regular citizens of Japan were caught up in a war not started by them, but by the two governments.

The one thing I wasn't too sure about this movie, was the beginning. Well, I wasn't sure why it kept jumping around to Seita and Setsuko being in random places. The beginning told these two were dead, but I suppose it was to give a backstory on how the two met their end. However, the ending I felt was a bit strange.

I know Anime is probably usually sad, but this one made me think a lot about my studies on World War II throughout the years. I started to think about the things I read regarding the United States bombing other countries and it didn't make me too proud of America.

In the movie, I was very frustrated with Seita and Setsuko's aunt whom I thought was very cruel. I just hate people who mistreat other people cruelly, especially family. Seita had already gone through a lot and he was left with the burden of his sister, but the aunt just added on a burden upon him. I loathe these sort of parents and guardians of children. Accusing the children of freeloading after losing their mother to the bombing, selling their mother's kimonos for rice, and knowing they had no where else to go.

It was obvious their cause of death was from malnutrition. I've heard about the devastation of war. It's just hard to think how it affects children and how children die so early caused by war. The one part in particular on the announcement that the United States won Pearl Harbor. People in America celebrate, but the Japanese ships were sunk, which meant their people did not survive. It makes you think war doesn't determine who is right, there are no real winners in a fight, for it is tragic for the fallen party. Both sides are badly affected. War does nothing but destroys, but I'm afraid war probably will never end just as long as we have politics.

Well, I probably give this movie four stars. It was an interesting watch and I do recommend it, although I would have liked for the ending to have more of a decent conclusion to everything. Maybe showing how Seita got to this train station in the beginning. Please forgive me if it wasn't actually a train station. It just looked like one to me. 

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